The One Celebrity Who Didn't Get Any Love In The Early '00s Is Now TV's Most Famous Face
It's weird to think that we live a world basically run by the Kardashian Konglomerate, whether you want to ignore them or not. The power of the Calabasas royal family has extended so far at this point. But, things weren't always like this — the Kardashian's didn't always rule the airwaves, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and your phone (emojis and multiple apps?!). Because, even if she's slaying it now, early 2000s Kim Kardashian didn't get any love back in the day, and she was basically reality TV's least valuable player.
For one thing, doesn't anybody remember when Kardashian was still in the closet? That is to say, when she was the personal assistant (and closet organizer) to Paris Hilton? Squint while watching some episodes of The Simple Life, and you'll see her side-kicking thanklessly for Hilton, who was, for lack of a better definition, that era's Kim Kardashian. Considering that Hilton already had a sidekick in the form of then-BFF and co-star Nicole Richie, Kardashian was a secondary character in the life of Paris, so close to the camera... and yet so far.
It wasn't an entirely parasitic relationship, though. The pair did have a legitimate friendship at one point, and Kardashian could be spotted in other episodes of The Simple Life too, present for all the milestones of Hilton's life — like Tinkerbell's pregnancy test.
Little did anyone know back then that, one day, we'd be actively anticipating the births of little North and Saint West one day.
Well, at least you could vouch that Kardashian was the most famous of her family members at the time, right? OK, maybe "Paris Hilton's Lackey" isn't the most impressive occupation on her reality star resume — but it was a start, and she was still in the public eye most prominently with that side-gig... right?
During this grand era of reality TV, The Hills was serving up melodramatic realness (or not, really the opposite of realness). So back in the early 2000s, the most well-known figure in the extended Kardashian clan was stepbrother Brody Jenner.
Him? Really? He wasn't even the boyfriend who kept Lauren Conrad from going to Paris. Yet, Brody's stint as LC's ersatz love interest made him (kind of) a household name at the time, having already established himself with the short-lived series Princes of Malibu. Even with Keeping Up With The Kardashians kicking up around the same time (circa 2007), there was still more weight to being Conrad's boyfriend versus Hilton's second tier pal slash slave.
Along with this comes the general ugliness of the early '00s in the first place, which includes a whole slew of disastrous ensembles that I can't imagine Anna Wintour would approve of. And let's face it, although before Kanye West, Kardashian didn't always had amazing luck with men (let's not forget that even when she got a huge wedding special with Kris Humphries on E!, the marriage itself lasted a minute) early '00s Kardashian was embroiled in her first short-lived marriage with Damon Thomas. It was a relationship that was certainly unworthy of a portmanteau, and one that was followed swiftly by her tryst with Ray J.
Of course, we all know how that ended up. A sex tape featuring Kardashian and Ray J leaked, and Kardashian eventually was able to leverage that scandal into true fame as Keeping Up With The Kardashians gained traction. The rest is history. So hey: Shout out to early 2000s Kardashian, the little reality star side-kick that could... and did.
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